Tamiya 1/24 1981 Skyline 2000RS

The 1981 4-Door Skyline is NOT what most people are thinking of when they hear "Skyline"!

The 1981 4-Door Skyline is NOT what most people are thinking of when they hear “Skyline”!

Mention the name “Skyline”, and most car enthusiast with knowledge of Japanese cars will automatically think of the high powered two-door cars, well-known and much-lauded for their high performance and handling. In the last 20 or so years, the Skyline has solidified its place in the pantheon of road racing cars and has become, for most people, a car they would love to have, or even see, but likely never will.

However, most people will NOT think of the Skyline’s 4-door performance sedan model. While still an impressive car, the “family mover” Skyline is almost completely unknown in the West. Certianly, I don’t think it is a car many people dream about or pine after unrequitedly.  Still, the 4-door Skyline exists, and thanks to the good folks at Tamiya, and their “1/24 Sports Car Series” we even get a chance to build one! Adding to the weird factor, it’s one of the decidedly staid looking  mid-1980’s machines, not one of the more sculpted later  versions!

The Kit:

This was my first Japanese car kit. It is a curbsider, meaning it has no engine, no opening hood, doors, etc.  The kit is thus quite simple, with a one-piece bodyshell, chassis with moulded in details for engine and some of the suspension, and a simple interior.  Oddly, like so many other cars in this series, the 2000RS is designed to be motorized! You get a motor and battery contacts in the kit, so if you want to make a toy out if it,  you’re free to!

If that’s not enough,  you also get a FREE BONUS SCOOTER! Yes,  you read it right; you get a 1/24 Suzuki Gemma scooter in with your Skyline. It is also a simple kit, but surprisingly fun to build, and really, how else are you going to get a kit of that?

Here is the Skyline in the box. The red plastic is the free Gemma Scooter. Like all Tamiya cars, it is beautifully packed, a far cry from MPC's "throw it all in a bag and hope" approach!

Here is the Skyline in the box. The red plastic is the free Gemma Scooter. Like all Tamiya cars, it is beautifully packed, a far cry from MPC’s “throw it all in a bag and hope” approach!

The building of this kit is very straightforward, and there’s not a lot of detail work to be done to it. I would have liked a textured carpet floorpan, like on MPC kits, but Tamiya doesn’t play that game. However, since the greenhouse is completely glassed in (another peculiarity of Japanese kits), you can’t really notice it.

Painting and Finishing:

There are a few colour choices called out for the 2000RS, but most of them are pretty boring. However, I did like the sound of the metallic red/silver mentioned in the instructions, and it was made better by the fact that the interior also had red in it. With no pictures to go on, I chose a more subdued maroonish-red to do the non-black parts of the interior, just so as not to clash with the paint on the body.

Here's the inerior and chassis, all set for assembly. Not the lack of engine and simplicity of the interior 'bucket. I haven't yet put the sides on it.

Here’s the inerior and chassis, all set for assembly. Not the lack of engine and simplicity of the interior ‘bucket. I haven’t yet put the sides on it. that’s the battery compartment at the extrem rear. I washed the spakers with black to make them stand out.

A closer view of the dashboard and front seats. Note the lack of "carpet" and the fact that the seats bolt right to the floor, vs. a real 'bucket' as on American kits.

A closer view of the dashboard and front seats. Note the lack of “carpet” and the fact that the seats bolt right to the floor, vs. a real ‘bucket’ as on American kits. As on the speakers, a light wash helps to highlight the blower vents.

I primed the body in Colourplace Grey Primer, adn then the red part with Colourplace Red. Just like on my Street Van, the Sundance Express, I mixed a bit of Polyscale DTI Cherry Red (I think) and Future with some red Jaquard pigments (and a tiny bit of Interference Violet to get some metallic going on) to make the red paint. This is a deeper, more maroon red, and it complimented the interior nicely. Again, I had no real pictures, so I had to make it up as I went along.

The lower body was done in silver, also made from a bit of grey paint and a lot of Jaquard silver pigments and some Future.

The entire car was Futured heavily, left to dry, and then sanded down to 12,000. I then painted all the (awesomely 80’s!) flat black rubber bits that take an otherwise nice looking car and make it coal-oil-ghetto. The headlights and tail lights were Bare Metal Foiled from behind, and the marker lights were foiled and then painted appropriately with Tamiya clear paints.  After that, I waxed it with ICE liquid polish, and that was all she wrote!

The high gloss achieved by using lots of Future can be clearly seen  on the hood.

The high gloss achieved by using lots of Future can be clearly seen on the hood. The chrome trim is Bare Metal Foil.

Conclusions:

This was a neat kit of a weird and obscure car, and I liked getting a free scooter. It isn’t a difficult kit to build and it does go together nicely, so it’s well suited for less experienced modelers. However, that doesn’t mean hardcore folk won’t find something to like. The tires are really soft and don’t need sanding, and the steering can turn, too, which is a nice change from the American car kits I’ve built.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for something different, even if you’re not a car guy, I ‘m sure you could handle it!

The boxy styling of the 2000RS four-door is clearly evident from this shot. Those corners are so sharp, you swear you'd cut yourself!

The boxy styling of the 2000RS four-door is clearly evident from this shot. Those corners are so sharp, you swear you’d cut yourself!

The trademark four round tailights were found on Skylines even back in the early 1980's! This kit makes it obvious how clunky the entire tail light assmbly actually is; it looks like a tacked on afterthought.

The trademark four round tail lights were found on Skylines even back in the early 1980’s! This kit makes it obvious how clunky the entire tail light assmbly actually is; it looks like a tacked on afterthought.

The foiled headlights and turn signals add to the "euro style" streamlining. The very obtrusive wing mirrors do not. The rims look awkward, though, if that helps!

The foiled headlights and turn signals add to the “euro style” streamlining. The very obtrusive wing mirrors do not. The rims look awkward, though, if that helps!

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